by: Amanda Frittz
Progressive Christianity seems to be an ever-growing subset of Christianity BUT is it actually Christian? To answer this, we must first look at what it means to be a Christian and what it means to be a Progressive Christian.
Christian Statement of Faith
We believe the Bible to be the inspired, the only infallible, authoritative Word of God.
We believe that there is one God, eternally existent in three persons: Father, Son and Holy Spirit.
We believe in the deity of our Lord Jesus Christ, in His virgin birth, in His sinless life, in His miracles, in His vicarious and atoning death through His shed blood, in His bodily resurrection, in His ascension to the right hand of the Father, and in His personal return in power and glory.
We believe that for the salvation of lost and sinful people, regeneration by the Holy Spirit is absolutely essential.
We believe in the present ministry of the Holy Spirit by whose indwelling the Christian is enabled to live a godly life.
We believe in the resurrection of both the saved and the lost; they that are saved unto the resurrection of life and they that are lost unto the resurrection of damnation.
We believe in the spiritual unity of believers in our Lord Jesus Christ.
Progressive Christianity Statement of Faith
I believe in God, the source of all life, wholeness, and love.
I believe that God is revealed in Jesus Christ.
I believe that in his life, Jesus reveals God in grace, mercy, forgiveness, and justice.
I believe that in his death, Jesus reveals God’s determined presence in the world even in the face of hatred, violence, and pain.
I believe that in his resurrection, Jesus reveals God calling us to abundant life both now and forever; life beyond our fearful and fragile imaginations.
I believe that God lives among us, within us, and through us by the power of the Holy Spirit.
I believe that God moves us to be together in communities of faith, hope, and love.
I believe these things not out of certainty but out of faith; as one who trusts in the reality of God revealed in Jesus Christ through the Holy Spirit.
They Are Different Religions
While these beliefs have similarities and from a quick glance may even seem relatively the same; they are not. Progressive Christianity deserves recognition as its own religion because it does not align with the Christian belief that the Bible is the authoritative word of God.
2 Timothy 3:16 ESV “All Scripture is breathed out by God and profitable for teaching, for reproof, for correction, and for training in righteousness,”
Progressive Christianity is an ever-evolving religion that idolizes select principles of Christianity that fit with the time and culture. Whereas Christianity is constant in observing the whole Bible as authoritative truth throughout all time. Christians don’t believe that God and his will for us change according to the hearts of men.
Hebrew 13:8-9 ESV “Jesus Christ is the same yesterday and today and forever. Do not be led away by diverse and strange teachings, for it is good for the heart to be strengthened by grace, not by foods, which have not benefited those devoted to them.”
Although, Progressive Christians do believe that Christ was God in human form. They don’t believe that all his instructions for us still apply today.
Galatians 1:6-10 “I am astonished that you are so quickly deserting him who called you in the grace of Christ and are turning to a different gospel— not that there is another one, but there are some who trouble you and want to distort the gospel of Christ. But even if we or an angel from heaven should preach to you a gospel contrary to the one we preached to you, let him be accursed. As we have said before, so now I say again: If anyone is preaching to you a gospel contrary to the one you received, let him be accursed.For am I now seeking the approval of man, or of God? Or am I trying to please man? If I were still trying to please man, I would not be a servant of Christ.”
How Has God Instructed us to Love Him?
John 14:15 ESV “If you love me, you will keep my commandments.”
This is where Progressive Christians and Christians can’t come to an agreement. While Christians believe that scripture is the authoritative word of God and look to what has been instructed in the Bible for guidance. Progressive Christians look to their hearts and proclaimed personal revelations from God.
What if God’s Way Doesn’t Feel Right?
Galatians 5:17 ESV “For the desires of the flesh are against the Spirit, and the desires of the Spirit are against the flesh, for these are opposed to each other, to keep you from doing the things you want to do.”
Know that it’s not natural to immediately desire God’s will for our life; it literally goes against our flesh. That’s why God has sent the Holy Spirit to help us battle our flesh and transform our hearts. If following his word feels painful at first that’s normal! Christians must die to their flesh and pick up their cross daily. Discomfort is normal, but it leads us to abundant life and fruit just as God promises.
Jeremiah 17:9 “The heart is deceitful above all things, and desperately sick; who can understand it?”
Because both our hearts and flesh have a tendency to lead us astray we must constantly be renewing our mind with truth from the Word of God.
Will Progressive Christians be Saved?
2 Timothy 4:3 “For the time is coming when people will not endure sound teaching, but having itching ears they will accumulate for themselves teachers to suit their own passions,”
While I wholeheartedly believe that Progressive Christianity is a false gospel that tickles the ears and hearts of men. I cannot confidently say that the grace of God won’t extend to those who believe in it out of naiveness. However, there are definitely strong warnings to those who only have lukewarm love and devotion to God.
Revelation 3:15- 19 “‘I know your works: you are neither cold nor hot. Would that you were either cold or hot! So, because you are lukewarm, and neither hot nor cold, I will spit you out of my mouth. For you say, I am rich, I have prospered, and I need nothing, not realizing that you are wretched, pitiable, poor, blind, and naked. I counsel you to buy from me gold refined by fire, so that you may be rich, and white garments so that you may clothe yourself and the shame of your nakedness may not be seen, and salve to anoint your eyes, so that you may see. Those whom I love, I reprove and discipline, so be zealous and repent.”
I hope those reading this stand convicted in this warning. God doesn’t want us to be in a relationship with him while we lie around with the world. He wants our whole hearts and for us to deny our fleshly desires. He knows we can’t do it alone and that we are all equally immoral without him. Because of that, He has sent his Holy Spirit to teach us how to walk out His ways.
Please hear my heart in this, I alone am not better than any individual whether they are Athiest, Progressive, or part of an occult. There is a loving creator who has told all of us the most fruitful way to live our lives. He has given us free will to decipher if we’d like to absorb his wisdom or eat from the forbidden tree and decide what wisdom is for ourselves. Can we truly say with confidence that doubting God is loving him?